Having started out as a Halloween joke covering a Simple Plan song that developed into a bunch of friends playing other covers, Blackpool’s Octopus Montage have come a long way. They’ve honed a fun, but admittedly unusual, punk meets metalcore/deathcore crossover sound that works superbly.
The band started out with brother and sister Dec and Davina Naylor and first made its name with a cover of Simple Plan’s What’s New Scooby-Doo, which has passed 10 million streams on Spotify! They later added Alex Jennings on screaming duties and Cain Dylan on drums, which has seen the band develop its fusion of bouncy pop-punk with deathcore breakdowns. Indeed, Alex describes their diverse sound as: “Honestly, we never stay on one thing for too long and I love it. Think A Day To Remember but heavier and more melodic.”
A steady stream of singles has built up to today’s release of second album How To Live And How To Lose. On the album, Alex tells us: “I think the singles we have released since September are a very accurate sample of the record. HTL&HTL is so much different from Reborn. For a start, I joined the band on the day that that record was released and Cain joined not long after and that’s brought a whole different stylistic change to the band. The heavy stuff is seriously heavy now and the softer stuff is super catchy, if I do say so myself.
“Honestly, I don’t think any of us think that Reborn is ‘us,’ or at least, not who we are now. That record was a great representation of what was happening around that time for us and where we were at but only two members from that time are still about so evidently the representation and the sentimental value isn’t quite there.”
As a result, the new album is a representation of what Octopus Montage ‘is now.’ It deliciously fuses pop-punk melodies and heavier elements, as perfectly portrayed on opening track Grow Up. It starts out with a catchy pop-punk anthem, then a huge cry of “Go fuck yourself” sees it dive into booming metal guitars and big screamed vocals, before returning to the pop-punk melody.
While second track Voices jumps into the deep end from the off with a delicious diving guitar riff and heavy drums. They feed into intense screamed vocals and booming low-tuned guitars, which flows into a big singalong chorus. Check it out in the video below:
Punky tracks Dopamine, which starts out with lively punky guitars that drop into palm-muted guitars under catchy vocals, and latest single Don’t Run Your Mouth are sandwiched by the huge A Shortcut. The latter starts out with fast-paced guitars, relentlessly heavy drums and call and respond screams, then chunky stabbing guitar chords.
A personal favourite track is the excellent Vendetta, which opens up with a really cool riff that kicks on alongside a big scream and driving drums. It drops into palm-muted guitar stabs then releases into a lively verse of screamed vocals and a powerful chorus. A second chorus ends on stabbing guitars, a little “bleugh” scream then heavy guitars bring the track to a fun ending.
There’s more heavy punky goodness on Phantom Settlements and Split, before the song that Alex tells us he’s most looking forward to people hearing. That’s penultimate track Jennifer’s Secret, on which he says: “That song is kinda heavy but for me the heaviness and the emotion comes from the lyrics and the meaning behind the song. To put it shortly, it covers the story of myself and a girl that I was genuinely in love with. We lived too far away to actually make anything happen but it didn’t stop us trying. This led to a constant cycle of, well, pain – not to sound too cliché!
“It went on for a good few years and a lot of stuff happened that wouldn’t make for a very pleasant read and things happened after the song’s production, meaning there will be a potential part two. But anyway, I hope she’s doing well and let’s get onto something a bit less heavy!”
Speaking of less heavy brings us to the album’s interestingly named final track A Member Of Our Band Got His Genitals Stuck In A Rather Compromising Position And Got Rushed To A&E. It lasts 27 seconds. And that’s all we’re going to tell you.
The Octopus Montage sound has been shaped by bands like Nirvana, Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, Slipknot, The Amity Affliction and Vanna. And on what inspires him to write music, Alex says: “I personally write about a lot of things I have experienced and past events I’ve been through, kinda an outlet I guess. In the stuff we have been writing since I am trying to put myself in other situations and write less about myself. A new writing challenge for me!”
We’ve met a few bands from Blackpool over the last few years but, not that many, : Honestly, Blackpool is dead for music. If you’re in a cover band then you’re set on your way but other than that there isn’t much going. There are a few gems in the scene, a few bands that we really get on with, but a lot of people we have met in our scene aren’t how they seem on the surface, but hey, it’s Pop-Punk to hate your town!”
There’s plenty more to come from the band, including videos for every song on the album as well as even more music. And Alex adds: “Anyone that listens to us means the world and if you want to contact us, chat with us or hangout with us when gigs resume, please do!”
Octopus Montage’s new album How To Live And How To Lose is out today and has even more diversity than the range of Easter Eggs now available on supermarket shelves so give it a listen!